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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Test Act

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Is the statute 25 Car. II. cap. 2, which directs all officers, civil and military, to take the oaths, and make the declaration against transubstantiation, in the Court of King's Bench or chancery, the next term, or at the next quarter sessions, or (by subsequent statutes) within six months after their admission; and also within the same time to receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, according to the usage of the church of England, in some public church, immediately after divine service or sermon, and to deliver into court a certificate thereof, signed by the minister and church-warden: and also to prove the same by two credible witnesses, upon forfeiture of five hundred pounds, and disability to hold the said office. The avowed object of this act was, to exclude from places of trust all members of the church of Rome; and hence the Dissenters of that age, if they did not support the bill when passing through the two houses of parliament, gave it no opposition.

for this part of their conduct they have been often censured with severity, as having betrayed their rights from resentment to their enemies. To make the ordinance of the Lord's supper a qualification of admittance to any office in or under the civil government, is evidently a profanation of the ordinance itself; not to insist upon the impropriety of excluding peaceable and loyal subjects from places of trust and profit, merely on account of their religious opinions. Various tracts have been written on the subject of a repeal of this act by Priestly, Englefield, Walker, Wakefield, Bristow, Palmer, and others. On the contrary side, by a great number of anonymous writers.

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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Test Act'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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